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What Happened to ISRO Scientist Nambi Narayanan?

M V Ramarao is a High School feature writer with a Bachelor of Technology degree in Smart manufacturing.

Nambi Narayanan

Nambi Narayanan

One fake case, which moved ISRO ( Indian Space Research Organisation ) 15 years back, turned one of the great scientists into a terrorist. That is ISRO Scientist Nambi Narayan's Case.

Who is Nambi Narayanan ? What happened to him? How he fought 27 years for Justice?

I will try to answer these questions in this article.

Introduction of Nambi Narayanan

Nambi Narayanan is born in a middle-class family, and he was born after his five sisters. His fathers sell coconut crumbles. Nambi Narayanan is a class topper. He completed his degree in first class, and after his degree completion, he worked in a sugarcane mill for some days. Then he joined ISRO. After joining ISRO, he got a scholarship to study at Princeton University, America.

After completion of his study, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) offered him a job. But to serve his knowledge to India, he declined that job offer.

Young Nambi Narayanan

Young Nambi Narayanan

Then he came back to India and joined in ISRO. He developed a Vikas engine in few days after joining ISRO. India is using Vikas engine in their PSLV's still today.

Nambi Narayan thought India needs cryogenic technology( an efficient way of taking rockets into space ) to grow in the International Space Sector.

Then he started his work on developing cryogenic technology. During that time, Kerala Police arrested him for the Treason case.

Why Kerala Police Arrested Him?

In October 1994. One month before Nambi Narayanan arrest, Kerala Police went to arrest a woman named Mariam Rasheeda (from the Maldives) because of the overstaying in India beyond the visa data. While arresting her, Kerala police found some ISRO rocket engine drawings and one diary.

After Identifying rocket engine drawings in her room, Kerala Police has taken this case seriously.

Mariam Rasheeda and Fauzia Hassan

Mariam Rasheeda and Fauzia Hassan

In November 1994, this case transferred to DGP Mathews. After some days, the Police arrested Fauzia Hassan ( Friend of Mariam Rasheeda ) and filed a case against them ( Mariam Rasheeda and Fauzia Hassan), suspecting that these two people are selling ISRO Rocket drawings to Pakistan agencies.


After 20 days from this incident, the Police arrested Nambi Narayan and another ISRO Scientist, Sashi Kumar. These arrests are because of the diary( found in Mariam Rasheeda room), which has both these scientist's names. They also stated they have proofs of Mariam Rasheeda calling Sashi Kumar Landline several times.

Along with these two scientists, Kerala police arrested the other two, Sharma( Businessman ), Chandra Sekhar ( Representative of Russian space centre).

Around November 30 1994, Kerala police arrested a total of six members. The next day, this news became viral.

"ISRO Scientists sold rocket secrets for seven crores, ISRO Scientists secret affairs with Maldives girls."- These are some of the headlines in newspapers at that time.

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After these arrests, the Kerala Police started interrogating these six members individually.

During that time, the Kerala Police went very hard on Nambi Narayanan. Police forced him to accept the mistake. Because of the police torture, Nambi Narayanan health got disturbed, and he admitted to the hospital.


Nambi Narayanan claimed that during that time, he didn't receive any support from ISRO.

In December 1994, suddenly, this case was handover to the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). After its investigation, CBI concluded the evidence collected by IB( Intelligence Bureau ) and Kerala Police is not valid.

The evidence of IB and Kerala Police

  1. According to Kerala Police, In 1990, all these six people met in Hotel Port Manoro, Trivandrum. But in the CBI investigation, it came to know that Hotel Manoro is established in 1991 December.
  2. Kerala police and IB stated that Nambi Narayanan had earned many crores. But CBI concluded that his salary is only Rs 7,300, and he has only six chairs and two tables.
  3. Kerala police and IB stated that Fouzia Hassan ( Maldives resident ) admitted her crime. But in the CBI investigation, it came to know that Fouzia Hassan got death threats from Kerala police. That's the reason behind her acceptance of crime.

The CBI investigation concluded that Mariam and Fouzia came to India to join Fouzia's 14-year daughter in a school. CBI created a report that these four didn't sell any rocket drawings and gave this report to the court.

In Jan 1995, the court granted bail to these four members. After 50 days, Nambi Narayanan released on bail. But, those two Maldives residents didn't release on bail because the poor Maldives residents didn't show Rs 2000 as surety.

Supreme Court Of India

Supreme Court Of India

Finally, in May 1996, the Supreme court declared these six members as innocents and closed the case. After this case, Nambi Narayanan joined ISRO again. But this time, ISRO transferred him from the cryogenic department to another department.

During that time, Kerala Government tried to reopen the case. But the supreme court not approved the request.

Nambi Narayanan claimed that he lost his career, dignity, and even family because of this false case.


In 1996, Nambi Narayanan approached the human rights commission to take action on those who framed him in a false case and asked ten lakhs as compensation. The human rights commission investigated and ordered the Kerala government to give ten lakhs as compensation. But Kerala Government didn't give that money for ten years.

In 2012, the High court ordered the Kerala government to give that ten lakhs. This time, the Kerala government gave him 10 lakh rupees.

DGP Siby Mathews

DGP Siby Mathews

After three years, in 2015, Nambi Narayanan approached the court and filed a new case to take action on DGP Mathews. But the High court doesn't approve of taking action on him and closes the case.

Then Nambi Narayanan went to the supreme court. This time Supreme court ordered the Kerala government to give 50 Lakhs as compensation.

In Dec 2019, Instead of 50 Lakhs, the Kerala government has given him 1.30 Crores as compensation. But they didn't take any action on DGP Mathews.

Kerala CM giving check

Kerala CM giving check

In 2019, Government gave Nambi Narayanan a prestigious Padma Bhushan award.

The reason behind the Nambi Narayana False case is still a Mystery. But many said they might be an involvement of the American CIA in this false case.



Without cryogenic technology, taking rockets into space is impossible. Till 1990, This technology is there only in the USA, Russia, France, Japan and China. At that time USA demanded a rate of 950 CR to transfer this technology to India, France demanded 650 CR.

At that time, ISRO made a deal to get this technology from Russia for 235 CR only. During that time, the USA pressured Russia to cancel the agreement, and Russia cancels the agreement.



Then, Indian scientists started their work to create their own cryogenic technology. The one who led this cryogenic project is Nambi Narayanan. If India made their own cryogenic technology during that time. Today, India will occupy at least 30 % of the World space Market.

So people thought, to stop these project CIA created a fake case on Nambi Narayanan and Sashi Kumar. Due to Nambi Narayanan Arrest, The cryogenic technology which India tried to create in 1999 got late, and India finished it in 2015.

Just one fake case pushed ISRO 15 years back ...


- Facts4u youtube video on ISRO fake spy Scandal

- Nambi Narayanan's case on Times Of India

- Who is Nambi Narayanan ? article on Indian Express

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 M V Ramarao


M V Ramarao (author) from Telangana, India on May 15, 2021:

Thank you MG Singh for your comment. It means a lot !!

MG Singh from UAE on May 12, 2021:

This is an interesting case and I have followed it. You have given an excellent account of the case.

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